Review: The Round House | A Multi-Faceted Coming-of-Age Tale

The Round House
Louise Erdrich (2012)

A gripping coming-of-age story, part social commentary, part family drama, part murder mystery, altogether well-deserving of the National Book Award bestowed upon it in 2012.

Thirteen-year-old Joe lives with his parents on a reservation in North Dakota. After his mother’s attack, she retreats, unable to leave her house and unwilling to revisit the details of her assault with either the authorities or her family. As Joe witnesses his mother’s decline and his family’s collapse, he loses faith in the legal system his tribal judge father serves. With his friends’ help, Joe takes it upon himself to solve the crime and set things right.

With affecting prose, The Round House compels the reader with a heart-breaking and compelling narrative populated with genuine characters, their presence remaining long after the last page is turned.

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